Friday, February 02, 2007


My post on Second Life (the virtual reality world) a few days ago, definitely touched some kind of collective nerve. People felt overwhelmingly antagonistic about this virtual lifestyle.

It is very understandable – spare time these days is even more endangered than global cooling. So its not surprising people get their backs up at the hint of something MORE that’s gonna demand their time.

But besides the time thing I think there’s another underlying issue. We’re all spending more and more time peering into our little cmptr screens. We are sensing that slowly, slowly the real world – the one with green fields and trees, remember – is disappearing, and our minds and souls are being sucked into this digital nothingness of wires and radio waves.

Soon our bodies are gonna be useless. They’ve already got technologies where you can move a cursor through brain waves alone. What then?

Need an anti-dote?
Try meditating. Meditation works in the opposite direction to virtuality. It tries to shut down the flitting mind, and experience the fullness of your other 5 senses. Where the Neb is about disembodiment, meditation is about getting inside of your own skin. Not the skin of some slick avatar on Second Life.

This might come as a surprise to some. The popular conception of meditation is that it involves a very focused mind, and has very little to do with the body. Well that’s just crap – especially with the particular meditation (there are a zillion varieties) that I personally practice. The one I do every day involves letting go of all things cerebral and instead feeling your body. Your breath, your skin, your bum on the cushion, the twinge in your neck. Just feel. Just be there. Present in your own body.

Some people focus on the sense of sound, some even on smell, but for me the sense of touch works best. It took me about a year of meditation to work this out. Touch is the last frontier. Sight and sound have already practically been assimilated by our electronic brethren. Next will be taste and smell. Touch? I don’t think they’ll ever get that right. It’s our last bastion of humanityhood.

So maybe, the more we get sucked into virtuality, the more reason there is to start meditation. Just do it.

(No, I’m not getting paid through PayperPost by some global meditation corporation. I just believe in it)


  1. hey, how much linden is a shaved monk sitting in full lotus avatar, you think? i'll go sign up for my meditative 2nd life right now, look me up! user id: shikantaza!

  2. I'm guessing I dance for pretty much the same reasons as you meditate: focusing on what my body is doing helps me shut down the conscious mind for a while and get in touch with another mode of existence. And it's fun!


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